A.J.Goddard steamboat ~ Photo courtesy of Fremont Historical Society

Funded by Fremont investors and a crew of Fremont men, early Fremont residents A. J. and Clara Goddard took parts for steamboats to the Klondike in 1898.  They hauled the parts over White Pass and assembled them on Lake Bennett.  They were to first to make the 400+ mile trip by steamer from the lake to Dawson in 1898 and Clara was the first woman to pilot a steamer on the Yukon River.

Come to the Fremont Branch Library, 717 N. 35th Street, during May to see a display of maps, photos, and stories of the Goddards’ life and adventure, presented by the Fremont Historical Society and the library.   An 1897 Klondike Gold Rush game based on “pin the tail on the donkey” is ready for kids to play.

On Saturday, May 12th, there will be a reception at 11:00 a.m. followed by a program at 12:00 p.m.  All is free. The program includes:

  • A showing of the documentary Finding the A. J. Goddard. The Goddards sold their boats in 1899 and the Goddard sank in 1901 during a storm.  The wreck was not found until 2008, but the steamer and many of its contents were in good condition.
  • A presentation by Richard Miller, project manager for Northwest Seaport for the Arthur Foss’ 2017 haul out, on the history of the 129 year old vessel, considered to be the world’s oldest wooden tugboat still afloat. Richard will also cover the scope and findings of the haul out.

The Fremont Historical Society and the Fremont Branch of the Seattle Public Library supplied this information and are partnering in this display throughout the month of May. For information on library hours, For questions, please email